01 October, 2015

HDMI over WiFi

No not really, no such thing exists.  Well you can stream HD media over WiFi but not in a plug and play way as a common HDMI cable.  There are various ways this can be accomplished but the idea is simple;  run a server from a device and play it on another, as long as there is a protocol, typically DLNA.

Recently I came across a new video format which looks quite interesting and powerful.  HEVC was released a few months ago (only drawn up sometime in 2013) and is now gaining traction.  I was surprised to find that an hour long HD video can be compressed down to 200 megabytes or so.  Being so new not many players can really decode it, as expected.  If you're on Linux, great news! It's not so hard to get it to play.  As always, VLC is your best friend so the solution I have/found is for VLC.  All that's needed is a new library from a PPA and you're good to go.

sudo apt-add-repository ppa:strukturag/libde265
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install vlc-plugin-libde265

That takes no more than a few seconds; minutes if you're on a slow connection (which makes the HEVC format ideal in your case).

I wrote this little post about this format because I am quite interested in how the far we can compress HD videos, but also because it was a bit inconvenient for me to not be able to play it pretty much anywhere (BubbleUPnP and chromecast appear to handle it though).  It may spare you some time hunting for a way to watch that latest episode next time :)  Yet still, my original thought (and title) of this post were actually meant for something totally different, but hey, two birds one stone!

I need to learn to HDMI
Having organised cables is quite important if you intend to keep your sanity.  Not long ago I did rewire my homelab and after a few hours everything look perfectly in place.  Except for one thing; WiFi.  It was constantly disconnecting and apparently going offline and back again for no apparent reason.  Restarting, re-configuring and switching ports fixed nothing.

A few hours or days go by and I started noting red pixels showing up on my screen at particular points where the image was darker.  Then it hit me.  There must have been some interference between my WiFi router and the HDMI cable in its vicinity (hence the title ;)).  Looking around on the internet seemed to prove my theory, even though similar cases appeared to be quite uncommon.  I have not completely fixed it yet however messing around with the cable is a good workaround.  That's until the shielded HDMI cable arrives in my mailbox, which should hopefully fix the issue.